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Biden struggles to confirm judges in the South and thwart Trump’s impact



President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have moved quickly to appoint scores of judges during the past two years, outpacing former President Donald Trump, but they have stalled in the South.

The dearth of nominees offered in southern states, notably where both US senators are Republican, threatens to undercut Biden’s large-scale effort to counteract Trump’s effect on the federal judiciary, particularly to bolster civil rights and ensure voter protections.

The Biden team’s well-documented diversification of the courts – nominees have been overwhelmingly women and people of color, such as Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and offered professional diversity, including public defenders and civil rights lawyers – has withered when it comes to district courts in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where more than a dozen such court vacancies exist.

“That is where the entrenchment of hyper-conservatism is real and difficult to uproot,” said Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

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